A Fighting Chance is the book I’m currently working on. It’s the follow-up to Chance Met, continuing Trey and Jeremiah’s story. Writing it hasn’t been exactly easy; I keep writing things that I then realize belong later in the story, so then I have to rearrange things. (This is what happens when I don’t thoroughly plot the book in advance; I’m doing the “follow the characters where they lead” thing with this one.)
Since I’m deeply involved in trying to finish writing the first draft of this book by my target date of August 6, and I’m also preparing for a trip to Prince Edward Island this week, instead of writing a longer blog post I’m choosing to just share a tidbit from A Fighting Chance. So here we go:
For only a moment, Trey wasn’t sure he’d heard Jeremiah correctly. He’d just confessed to Jeremiah that he was a frigging werewolf, for crying out loud. Jeremiah’s reaction couldn’t have been to say he loved Trey.
But that was exactly what he’d said. He loved Trey. And Trey loved him. Having heard Jeremiah say it, Trey was easily able to say it back.
Jeremiah’s arms tightened around him. “I’m so glad you said that.”
“Did you think I wouldn’t?” Trey said, trying to keep his tone light. “How could you not know?”
“I don’t read your mind without your permission.” Jeremiah made a soft sound that might have been a laugh. “And I knowing and believing aren’t always the same thing.”
“That they aren’t.” Trey nuzzled the other man’s throat then pulled away. “This was not the reaction I pictured when I rehearsed telling you about the werewolf thing. I was kind of envisioning you running screaming out of here.”
“That might worry your neighbors.” Jeremiah grinned. “I already knew, Trey, remember? And it would take a lot more than that to scare me away.”
“Daddy, can I come back yet?” Mikey asked from the kitchen.
Trey rolled his eyes. The apartment wasn’t all that big, and he and Jeremiah hadn’t exactly kept their voices down. Mikey had probably heard every word they’d said. Not that they had discussed anything Mikey couldn’t hear. Privacy simply would have been nice. “Yes, bud, you can come back.”
Mikey walked in and knelt beside the coffee table. “Can I have another piece of pizza? I ate all of the other one. Even the crust.”
“Go ahead.” Bemused, Trey watched his son pull another slice out of the pizza box and take a bite. “Thank you for being patient.”
“You’re welcome,” Mikey said through a mouthful of pizza.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full,” Trey said automatically. “Were you listening while you were in the kitchen?”
Mikey shook his head and swallowed loudly. “You didn’t want me to. Except it’s hard not to hear you, so I was making up a song in my head so I wouldn’t.”
“I didn’t know you made up songs.” Looking interested, Jeremiah leaned forward and took a piece of pizza. “Will you sing it for me?”
“Maybe, but it’s not done yet.” Mikey put down his pizza. “Are you going to be here more, Jeremiah?”
“What do you mean?” Jeremiah bit into his pizza.
“Daddy and you are boyfriends, right? And you just had a ‘grownup talk.’” The boy made air quotes with his fingers. “Did you talk about living with us?”
Trey snorted, and Jeremiah started coughing and pounding his chest with a fist. Concerned, Trey patted Jeremiah’s back. “Choking isn’t recommended.”
“When pizza attacks,” Jeremiah gasped between coughs.
“I guess that’s a no.” Mikey looked disappointed. “But you’d need to ask if it’s okay to live here anyway.”
“I would?” Jeremiah asked.
“Yeah, ’cause…” Mikey looked at Trey. “Never mind.”
“Because the landlord won’t let people just randomly move in,” Trey filled in smoothly. His heart pounded. Thank god Jeremiah didn’t have werewolf-level senses; hopefully he wouldn’t notice Trey’s anxiousness. Mikey knew he had to watch what he said about Trey and the other pack members, but the kid was only seven. Seven-year-olds sometimes forgot to be careful.
Fortunately, Jeremiah seemed to accept the landlord excuse. “Yeah, I’d have to be on the lease or something. Anyway, Mikey, I’m honored that you want me to move in, but it isn’t the right time just yet.” To Trey’s relief, he sounded amused.
To fend off any further questions, Trey decided to just tell Mikey what he and Jeremiah had discussed. “I told Jeremiah that I’m a werewolf.”
“Oh.” Mikey picked up his pizza slice again. “He knew, right?”
Jeremiah laughed. “Yes, Mikey. I knew something, anyway. And now I know the truth, and it’s okay.”
“Good. Daddy can’t help it.” Mikey looked at the pizza slice and set it back down. “Maybe I don’t want this. Sorry, Daddy.”
“It’s all right. I’ll eat it.” Trey’s head was spinning. The conversation with Jeremiah had gone far too smoothly, and he couldn’t help feeling like something was about to go horribly wrong. The post-hunt fog in his brain wasn’t helping. “Jeremiah, I told you now because…Well, because I love you, like I said. But because if something’s happening with Mikey, I need you to know the truth so you can help us.”
“I’m here.” Jeremiah spoke quietly, but those two words carried such strong emotion Trey’s eyes watered. “Whatever you need. Including someone to take care of the small fry on full moon nights.”